Budget 2012 - as it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Budget 2012 - as it happened

This live blog is now closed. See the information, analysis, reaction and updates on Budget Day 2012 as it unfolded, here.

  • Cigarettes up 37p, Stamp Duty increased for £2m+ properties, State pension to rise by £3.50 a week, top rate of tax down from 50p to 45p and personal allowance rises to £9,205 with a new £50,000 threshold.

    Our live blog carries on till about 2pm with reaction and analysis, with links to articles - and tweets and articles from The Independent's experts.

    * George Osborne slashes 50% top tax rate ind.pn
    * Government set to borrow £11bn less ind.pn
    * George Osborne dashes fuel price hopes ind.pn
    * Unions criticise regional pay rates plan ind.pn
    * Budget at a glance ind.pn
    * Full text of the Budget speech ind.pn
    * Steve Jones: The small business view of the Budget ind.pn
    3/21/2012 1:55:41 PM
  • Child benefit cut will stay, but "cliff edge" issue tackled by tapering - 1pc of CB for every £100 above £50k #budget2012
  • Child benefit cap to remain but will only be withdrawn at 50k and will be staggered so only income over 60k will lose everything #budget2012
  • Osborne uses Lib Dem phrase "further and faster" to announce big rise in tax free allowances #budget2012
  • Protesters form an unemployment queue outside Downing Street in London to protest against austerity cuts as Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivers his Budget speech. Picture credit: AP

    3/21/2012 1:28:30 PM
  • Tax-free personal allowance to rise by £1,100 from April 2013 to £9,205, making 24 million people £220 a year better off.
    3/21/2012 1:28:53 PM
  • Million of people will be £220 better-off every year #Budget2012 #Budget
  • Osborne says "we are within touching distance of a £10,000 personal allowance"
    3/21/2012 1:29:18 PM
  • £9,205 is in "touching distance" of the goal of £10,000 personal allowance, GO claims #Budget2012
  • Raises personal allowance to £9,200 - v popular tax cut. It's also expensive - that will cost £5.5bn #budget2012
  • Media-watchers should note that there was absolutely no mention of cutting the 50p rate to 40p eventually. This means that many of the leaks ahead of the Budget were plain wrong. For instance, this Guardian front page by Political Editor Patrick Wintour:
    3/21/2012 1:30:43 PM
  • Top rate of tax raised a billion in first year more or less as forecast when it was intrdouced and wd have raised more in the second.
  • Amazing that a much leaked Lib Dem proposal was the centre piece of Osborne's budget. No final surprise. #budget2012
  • A police officer directs a protester, holding up a placard, to where they should be located, away from the security gates of Downing Street in London. The sign reads: "Mr Policeman we are here for you too and your kids, their kids...". Picture credit: AP

    3/21/2012 1:31:18 PM
  • Higher rate earners to benefit from rise in personal allowance.
    3/21/2012 1:31:41 PM
  • Osborne said: "This country borrowed its way in to trouble. No we are going to earn our way out." He sat down at 1.29pm.
    3/21/2012 1:31:50 PM
  • The only surprise is the entire Budget speech was that Ken Clarke stayed awake throughout. #Budget2012
  • The Lib Dem influence on this Budget has been very strong. It is a nonsense to pretend the Chancellor would hammer properties worth over £2m were it not for their former Mansion Tax pledge; and one of the headline tax measures, accelerating the rise in the pre-tax personal allowance, is Lib Dem policy - regardless of what Nick Boles says.
    3/21/2012 1:33:27 PM
  • Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband is now responding to Osborne's Budget
    3/21/2012 1:33:34 PM
  • Ed Miliband: "Today marked the end of we're all in it together" #Budget2012
    by Andy McSmith via twitter edited by The Independent 3/21/2012 1:33:47 PM
  • Ed Miliband has an excellent opening line: Osborne makes no mention of "We're all in it together". #Budget2012
  • Miliband says Osborne has "failed the fairness test".
    3/21/2012 1:35:51 PM
  • Find out more about the three themes of this year’s #Budget #Budget2012 t.co t.co t.co
  • Ed M's 1st response makes no sense. He must know that better-off will pay more tax than they gain, even if he doesn't know how #budget2012
  • Chancellor George Osborne is given a congratulatory nudge by Prime Minister David Cameron after delivering his second Budget speech. Picture credit: PA

    3/21/2012 1:37:40 PM
  • Miliband: Budget gives tax breaks for those earning over £150,000
    3/21/2012 1:37:45 PM
  • Miliband: 29.7m out of 30m taxpayers not helped by 50p cut
  • Miliband said: "Millions would be paying more while millionaires paid less".
    3/21/2012 1:40:54 PM
  • George Osborne dashes fuel price hopes ind.pn
    3/21/2012 1:41:07 PM
  • 14,000 people earning over £1m a year get a permanent tax cut of £40,000 pa, Miliband claims
  • Miliband says by choosing to make his priority tax cuts for the wealthiest the Chancellor had "failed the fairness test".
    3/21/2012 1:42:55 PM
  • quite a funny stunt from Miliband - hands-up from the Cabinet on who will benefit from this tax change. now he asks for nodding #Budget2012
  • Ed Miliband: "Let's have some tax transparency. Hands up in the Cabinet if you're going to benefit from the income tax cut. Come on!" #Budget2012
    by Andy McSmith via twitter edited by The Independent 3/21/2012 1:43:36 PM
  • 3/21/2012 1:46:00 PM
  • Chancellor George Osborne announces a rise in the price of a packet of cigarettes.

    3/21/2012 1:47:11 PM
  • Ed Miliband good at partisan mockery of Clegg. From Liberal People's Budget of 1909 to supporting Millionaire's Budget of 2012 #budget2012
    by John Rentoul via twitter edited by The Independent 3/21/2012 1:47:59 PM
  • Ed Miliband just mentioned the People's Budget of 1909. You can read more about that in tomorrow's Independent. #Budget2012
    by Andy McSmith via twitter edited by The Independent 3/21/2012 1:48:09 PM
  • Corporation tax cut to 24% in April ind.pn
    3/21/2012 1:48:28 PM
  • Reaction to George Osborne's Budget is starting to come in. Rail union leader Bob Crow said the tax changes meant that a banker on half a million pounds will receive a "kick back"of £17,500, money "robbed" from public services and the neediest in society.
    3/21/2012 1:48:34 PM
  • Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB, said: "The different treatment of people at either end of the income scale is stark. Ordinary families are losing their tax credits and child allowances and suffering pay freezes while people on top salaries of £150,000 to £1 million a year are getting cash hand outs."
    3/21/2012 1:48:57 PM
  • Local Government Association chairman Sir Merrick Cockell, said: "Today's confirmation that public spending will continue to fall beyond 2015 has to be accompanied with recognition that councils have so far delivered extremely demanding cuts, which others have failed to match.
    3/21/2012 1:49:05 PM
  • Labour party leader Ed Miliband responds after Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne delivered his Budget statement to the House of Commons. Picture credit: PA

    3/21/2012 1:50:52 PM
  • My colleague Oliver Wright makes a salient point: the fact that the Budget was leaked so heavily in advance means that Ed Miliband had the chance to write his response well in advance. He has strong polling data to show the public believes the Tories remain the party of the rich - that is why he repeated the "Same old Tories" line repeatedly. And his stunts, in which he asked the Cabinet to put their hands up if they will profit from the Chancellor's proposals, was effective. I think the Chancellor has made a strategic error in not reducing the top rate from 50p to 40p. This was he gets all the political pain, but little economic gain. Miliband's task now is to make that political pain unbearable.
    3/21/2012 1:51:22 PM
  • Here's are recap of some of the major points of the 2012 Budget:

    * The Office of Budget Responsibility expects UK to avoid recession and is revising growth forecast for this year up to 0.8%.

    * Inflation forecast to fall from 2.8% this year to 1.9% next year.

    * Unemployment expected to peak at 8.7% this year.

    * Borrowing forecast to fall from £126 billion this year - £11 billion less than forecast in Autumn Statement - to £21 billion by 2016/17.

    * Cost of operations in Afghanistan to be £2.4 billion less than expected. Extra £100 million to be spent on armed forces accommodation.

    * Consultation to be held on offering gilts - Government bonds - with maturity terms of more than 50 years.
    3/21/2012 1:51:57 PM
  • Here's how George Osborne's Budget will affect pensions:

    * State pension age to be automatically reviewed to ensure it keeps up with growing longevity.

    * Simplification of tax system for pensioners.

    * Single-tier state pension to be introduced - estimated to be £140.
    3/21/2012 1:53:30 PM
  • Here are the major points for business:

    * "Major package of tax changes" to boost oil and gas extraction in North Sea, and £3 billion new field allowance west of Shetland.

    * Tax credits for video games, animation and TV production in the UK.

    * Funding for faster broadband in UK's 10 largest cities.

    * Headline rate of corporation tax to be cut further from next month by one percentage point - to 24%. Future cuts to go ahead as planned.

    * Bank levy to be increased to 0.105% from next January, raising £2.5 billion a year.

    * Legislation for relaxed Sunday trading laws on eight Sundays during Olympics and Paralympics, starting July 22.
    3/21/2012 1:54:16 PM
  • Duty will be affected in the following ways:

    * No change in alcohol duty.

    * Duty on all tobacco products to rise by 5% above inflation from 6pm tonight - 37p on a packet of cigarettes.

    * New duty on gaming machines.

    * Changes to taxation on gambling firms, imposing tax at the place of consumption to discourage online gambling moving offshore.

    * Stamp duty charge on properties above £2 million through a company to rise immediately to 15%.

    * Stamp duty rate of 7% on properties worth more than £2 million.
    3/21/2012 1:55:20 PM
  • Anyway, better go stock up on a new £2m house, a bit of fuel and an oil field. #budget2012
    by Lucy Tobin via twitter edited by The Independent 3/21/2012 1:56:39 PM
  • Here's how the Budget affects tax:

    * Government to consult on anti-tax evasion rules.

    * 50p tax rate raised £1 billion - a third of the amount forecast.

    * Top rate to be reduced from 50p to 45p from April 2013.

    * Changes to taxation mean the Treasury will receive "five times more money each and every year from the wealthiest in our society".

    * Personal tax allowances to rise by £1,100 from next April. Tax-free allowance to rise to £9,205, making 24 million people £220 a year better off.

    * Personal tax statement will explain how taxation is spent.

    * Reform of tax system for small firms and review of VAT.
    3/21/2012 1:56:55 PM
  • And finally, this on benefits:

    * Child benefit to be reduced incrementally when one member of household earns more than £50,000. Child benefit will be removed completely at £60,000.
    3/21/2012 1:57:27 PM
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